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Pictures of our 2nd African trip 2015 to Lesotho
- From April 7th to 15th, 2015
South Africa Part 3 from Addo National Park to the Lesotho border March 13th to April 7th, 2015
South Africa Part 2 from Capetown to Tsitsikamma National Park February 24th to March 13th, 2015
3rd Major Repair of our LandCruiser FJ60 - 1982  (due to two broken sideshafts)
South Africa Part 1 from Namibia border to Capetown January 22nd to February 23rd, 2015
Angola Part 2 October 4th to 22nd, 2014
Angola Part 1 September 26th to October 4th, 2014
Namibia Part 2 from Windhoek to the Angolan border, back again and on to South Africa
Namibia Part 1 from Walvis Bay to Windhoek
South Africa Part 4 from the Lesotho to the Swaziland border April 15th to 23rd, 2015
Swaziland April 23rd to 28th, 2015
South Africa Part 5 from the Swaziland to the Botswana border  April 28th to May 15th, 2015
Armed Robbery in Malawi on July 31st/August 1st, 2015
Ethiopia Part 1   from Kenya to Djibouti October 25th to November 18th, 2015
Djibouti October 18th to 27th, 2015
Ethiopia Part 2   from Djibouti to Sudan November 27th to December 9th, 2015
Sudan December 9th, 2015 to January 8th, 2016
Saudi Arabia January 9th to 12th, 2016
Lesotho Map
          Southern Africa Map


latest picture: April 15, 2015
  • click a picture to see details

001  On April 7th, 2015, we enter the
Kingdom of Lesotho at the ”Van Rooyens
Gate“ in Wepener. The country with two
million people is entirely surrounded by
South Africa and covers an area of 11’720
sq.mi. [30‘000km²]. It is also known as
”Kingdom in the Sky“ as the entire country
lies 4’600 ft. [1’400m] above sea level
002  The approach to the Malealea Lodge
in the interior leads us during the last
4½ miles [7km] deeper and deeper
into a wide mountain valley
with impressive views …..
003  ….. and past the peaceful little
village of Malealea that nestles between
cornfields and the mountain ranges
004  At the gates of the Malealea Lodge,
some locals have set up a little ”market“
hoping that tourists are in buying mood
005  A blue LandCruiser and a blue Iveco
at the Malealea Lodge Camping. Julie and
Marcus from England (Tucks‘ Travels)
explored Southern Africa with their Iveco
truck. Next is Europe and South America
006  Local singers entertain the tourist
groups at the Malealea Lodge
The walls of the restaurant and bar at the Malealea Lodge are painted with nostalgic traditional motifs,
bringing us the simple way of life of the Basotho people closer
010  The old man with his outstanding
headdress poses proudly behind our
LandCruiser for a picture
011  Like in the old days people meet at
the Matebele Cafe between the Malealea
Lodge and the ”Gate of Paradise“ Pass.
It is the only cafe far and wide
012  The herdsman probably cannot
understand why we take a picture of
this dilapidated sign. We are a bit
surprised to read the distances to
some world cities in this remote place
013  Our LandCruiser tackles the last yards
to the 6’565 ft. [2’001m] high ”Gate of
Paradise“ Pass leaving behind the glorious
scenery of the Thaba Putsoa mountain range
014  Tall sisal agaves (Agave sisalana)
rise towards the sky. The plant grows up
to 20 ft. [6m] and blooms only once
015  Our LandCruiser reaches the ”Gate
of Paradise“ Pass on an altitude of 6’565 ft.
[2’001m]. The tarmac ends here and the
washed out dirt track starts
016  A general store in the countryside
of Matelile. It is the place where people
meet, stock up their supplies, do some
trade and exchange the latest gossip.
It’s bustling of activities
017  A blanked clad horseman with his
conical shaped hat makes some dancing
moves while spotting us. The Basotho
hat is the symbol of the country
018  Three lovely thatched rondavels
overlook the plain and the mountains
019  About 15 miles [23km] east of the
capital Maseru the road splits at the sand-
stone formation of Saint Michaels: Either
over the passes of the central Highlands or
via Roma towards the south at Qacha’s Nek
020  Next to an imposing sandstone rock
at the begin of the Roma Valley, the little
mission church of Saint Michaels nestles
between two stately trees
021  The scenery at the Ramabanta Trading
Post Lodge in Nkesi, about halfway between
Roma and Semonkong at the Makhaleng
River, reveals some of the wild beauty of the
”Kingdom in the Sky“, as Lesotho is also called
022  A small settlement near Nyakosoba
at the foot of the southern foothills of the
Maloti Mountains
023  The ascent near Ramabanta is a
remarkable feat of Chinese engineering.
It's the longest and steepest in Lesotho
although it’s paved
024  At the Ramabanta Trading Post
Lodge, hidden deep in the mountains,
we camp with beautiful views to
Lesotho’s alpine world
025  The mid-morning sunlight underlines
the imposing Thaba Putsoa mountain ranges
in all its beauty – on the way from Ramabanta
to Semonkong – seen towards the north
026  A cluster of thatched houses built from
natural stones with adjacent kraals on the slope
of a hill along the road to Semonkong
027  The blue ribbon of the Maletsunyane
River flows through the pristine beauty of
the Lesotho highlands
028  The three traditional Basotho huts
are built in the rondavel style and
with local materials
029  Is there a more peaceful setting?
A small settlement at the edge of the
Maletsunyane Falls canyon
030  Despite of the new tarmac roads built
by China, life on Lesotho’s highlands is still
genuine and tranquil and takes its course
as it has for decades, if not centuries
031  The washed out, rutted and stony 4x4
track starts, which our LandCruiser will have
to tackle for the next 5 miles [8.1km] from
Semonkong to the Maletsunyane Falls. It forks
off before the bridge over the same-named river
032  Off we go! .....
033  ….. only a couple of more strenuous
yards, then the two seniors have braved
the difficult 4x4 ride!
034  The Maletsunyane fall near Semonkong
is 6’300 ft. [192m] high and in the “Guinness
Book of Records” for ”the highest
commercially operated abseil in the world“
035  At the Maletsunyane fall we park on
open land with the backdrop of some
thatched huts nestling on the slope
036  Panorama from the view point over
the impressive Maletsunyane canyon in the
Maletsunyane valley near Semonkong
037  At the village square in Semonkong it is
teeming with horses that transport the heavy
bags with corn flour to the outlying huts
038  The Maletsunyane canyon landscape
near Semonkong – downstream
039  Bushes with short-stalked white flowers
– so called white moos (Leucobryum) –
cover big areas on the highlands
040  A man is loading his donkey.
Donkeys are still used for transports
of any kind. Trading still takes place
as in the ”Good old Days“
041  Highly loaded with grass and
scrub, donkeys head homewards
042  Basotho horsemen nowadays prefer
the new tarmac road, built in 2014 towards
the south till Qacha’s Nek, instead of the
difficult mountain terrain
043  Delicate pink flowers of the sage
family (Salvia) add some color to the
rocky scenery
044  Our feathered neighbor, a hadada ibis
(Bostrychia hagedash), is snoozing on a tree
at the “Trading Post Guest House” in Roma.
These ibises feed mainly on earthworms and
other larger insects on the ground and are
therefore particularly welcomed on golf greens
045  A prickly pear cactus (Opuntia
ficus-indica) with a single fruit grows
in the rugged area of the highland
046  Patches of pink-colored cosmos
flowers (Cosmos bipinnatus) gleam
against the dark Maloti Mountains that
rise steeply to over 11’424 ft. [3’482m]
047  Below us the Makhaleng valley
opens up in its wild beauty
048  A floral splendor: Carpets of pink-
colored cosmos flowers (Cosmos
bipinnatus) cover the plain in autumn
On the ”Roof of Africa“ – between Maseru and Thaba-Tseka – we cross in less
than an hour three mountain passes, all over 7’425 ft. [2‘263m] altitude:
049  At 11.59am the ”Bushmen’s Pass“
at 7’425 ft. [2263m] altitude
050  At 12.27pm the ”God Help Me Pass“
at 7’484 ft. [2’281m] altitude
051  At 12.52pm the ”Blue Mountain Pass“
at 8’638 ft. [2’633m] altitude
052  The herdsman in his typical traditional
outfit – particularly his hat – at the ”Blue
Mountain Pass“
053  A white long-hair angora goat is warming
up on a boulder. It’s delivering the mohair
fabric, the specifically lightest textile fiber
054  A little alpine brook trickles shortly
on the surface and then disappears again
below the rugged mountain terrain
055  Formed by the course of a clear
water stream, a little island has emerged
in the alpine grassland – shortly before
Likalaneng at the Mohale dam
056  The small settlement Likalaneng
(Ha Mohale) was built to house the people
for the construction of the Mohale Dam
057  The road winds in a serpentine line
past green pasture and small settlements
towards the Mohale Dam – here about
2½ miles before the same-named place
058  The first glimpse of the Mohale
dam, embedded into fantastic
mountain scenery, is promising …..
059  ….. the second glimpse, with the
background of the Maloti Moutains,
captivates us immediately. It shows more of
its beauty, its calmness and serenity …..
060  ….. and the third glimpse is from its
shore: Emil admiring the Mohale dam
061  Mohale Dam and its overspilling.
The 4’757 ft. [145m] high concrete-faced
rockfill dam is the highest of its kind in Africa.
It was built to increase the volume of water
to be delivered to South Africa
062  In Marakabei at the Senqunyane
River children hang out after school and
love to have their pictures taken
063  Toyota LandCruiser with the
exotic Lesotho license plate and the
symbolic hat on the left side
064  Poplars in their golden yellow
autumn color reflect picture-perfect in
the deep blue of the Senqunyane River
in Marakabei
065  The bridge over the Senqunyane River
in Marakabei was opened on April 19, 1956,
by the Resident Commissioner of Basutoland,
by then a British Crown colony
066  We are camping below the golden
autumn foliage in the garden of the
Marakabei Lodge at the Senqunyane River
on an altitude of 6’040 ft. [1’841m]
067  The wall painting at the Marakabei
Lodge shows a typical Lesotho resident
and his indispensable horse
068  Herdsmen are moving their sheep
on the street. In the eyes of the Basotho
people large herds signal wealth
069  A typical hut in the flowering highland
on a bend on the way to Thaba-Tseka.
From Roma to Thaba-Tseka there
are said to be 1’437 bends!
070  View from the ”Roof of the World“,
the 9’383 ft. [2’860m] high Mokhoabong
Pass, over the northeastern highland
071  A kind of procession marches
through a cornfield towards the road
072  The road is winding and descending
slowly from the highlands towards Thaba-
Tseka, where as part of the “Lesotho
Highlands Water Project” the new Mashai
Dam should emerge by the dammed
Senqu respectively Orange River
073  In the villages they have nowadays
also toilettes. The blue corrugated iron shacks
are in great numbers. They were constructed
by the „Lesotho Highlands Water Project“
to protect the reservoirs from contamination
074  Not a ”Grand Canyon“, but the
Malibamat'so River is still impressive. It is
dammed further north by the Katse Dam. Water
that isn’t directed straight to South Africa flows
near Thaba-Tseka into the Senqu/Orange River.
075  A village (also with new latrines)
between Thaba-Tseka and Katse dam.
Its inhabitants are pastoralists
and agriculturalists
076  A little settlement at the edge
of the Malibamat'so canyon
077  A butterfly sucks the nectar from
these short living highland daisy flowers
078  The blooming season is short in
the highlands. During this time, nature
awakes in its utmost beauty
079  Katse Dam was built within the ”Lesotho
Highland Water Project“ at 6’560 ft. [2‘000m]
above sea-level. It’s connected with a 19.9
mile [32km] long tunnel with the Mohale dam.
With its staggering 607 ft. [185m] high wall it
represents the highest dam in Africa …..
080  ….. it was officially inaugurated on
January 22, 1998 by King Letsie III and
President Nelson Mandela. The dam is not
only used to produce electricity but also to
deliver water to the South African province
of Gauteng (Johannesburg/Pretoria etc.)
081  Katse Dam is 607 ft. [185m] high,
2’329 ft. [710m] long, was finished 1996;
the reservoir contains 467.8 cu.mi.
[1’950km³] water and has a surface of
13.8 sq.mi. [35.8km²]; it’s part of the ”Lesotho
Highland Water Project“ of finally 5 dams
082  In front of the 607 ft. [185m] high
dam our LandCruiser looks shrinking small
083  A moment of absolute peace: Liliana
enjoys the serenity of the Katse Lake …..
084  ….. while Emil is busy with gasoline
jerrycans on the LandCruiser’s roof rack
The scenic beauty of Katse Lake that meanders for many miles through the rugged mountain scenery does not stop to marvel us
088  The tarmac road meanders from
the 10’137 ft. [3’090m] high Mafika Lisiu
Pass endlessly westwards through
mountains and valleys
089  In the barren highland, a single flower
is all the more eye-catching: Presumably a
“member” of the buttercup respectively
crowfoot family (Ranunculaceae)
090  In the often rainy mountains and
cold highlands the cute rock hyrax (dassie)
(Procavia capensis) is enjoying the
warming sunrays
091  Only the ribbon of the tarmac road
interrupts the stunning mountain scenery –
here the descent from Mafika Lisiu Pass
to Pitseng
092  Our LandCruiser on the descent to
the valley from over 10’137 ft. [3’090m].
It deserves great praise. Without complaining
it made it through the steepest and highest
mountain passes
093  View from Pitseng over the basin,
where our 8-day-Lesotho journey
comes to an end
094  Laundry day at a mountain
stream near the city of Pitseng
095  Glorious evening mood over the
fantastic alpine world from our ”Aloes
Guesthouse“ camping in Pitseng
096  On our way to Caledonspoort, the border
village to South Africa near Botha-Bothe, we
drive along the Drakensberg mountains. We
leave Lesotho on April 15, 2015, having driven
488 miles [786km] in the ”Kingdom in the Sky“
The "Greater"-Middle East trip 2012/13:
Sharjah/Dubai/1st Traveler's Festival/Emirates National Auto Museum - UAE with car Nov. 2012 to Jan. 2013 - part 1
Western UAE - Liwa - United Arab Emirates  with car in January 2013 - part 2
Oman 2013 – Part 1 - February 2013: Musandam Peninsula
Oman 2013 – Part 2 - February 2013: Sohar - Muscat - Rustaq - Nizwa
Oman 2013 – Part 3 - March 2013: Sur - East Coast - Island of Masirah - Dhofar
Oman 2013 – Part 4 - March 2013: Salalah & Surroundings (Dhofar) - Nizwa
Oman 2013 – Part 5 - March 2013: Western Hajar Mountains
Al Ain, Eastcoast & Ras al Khaima - United Arab Emirates with our car in April 2013 - part 3
Iran - part 1: Ferry Port Bandar Abbas-Shiraz-Persepolis-Pasargad (between Persepolis and Yazd) May 2013
Iran - part 2: Pasargad (excl.)-Yazd-Esfahan May 2013
Iran - part 3: Esfahan (excl.)-Chelgerd-Hamadan-Sanandaj-Orumiyeh May 2013
Turkey - Esendere-Hakkari-Van-Dogubayazit-Kars-Ardahan-Hopa-Georgia Border – May/June 2013
Georgia - part 1: Ajaria-Gori-Tbilisi-Kakheti-Azerbaijan Border June 2013
Azerbaijan: Georgia Border-Balakən-Şəki-Lahıç-Baku-Xınalıq-Quba-Laza-Baku-Gəncə-Georgia Border June 2013
Georgia - Part 2a: Azerbaijan Border-Tbilisi-Armenia Border June/July 2013
Armenia part 1 July 2 to 9, 2013: Georgia Border - Akhtala - Haghpat - Dilijan - Lake Sevan - Selim - Arates - Nagorno-Karabakh
Nagorno-Karabakh: Armenia-Stepanakert-Gandzasar-Martakert-Tigranakert-Tnjri-Shoushi-Armenia July
Armenia - Part 2: Nagorno-Karabakh-Goris-Tatev-Noravank-Khor Virap-Echmiadzin-Yerewan-Geghard-Gyumri-Georgia Border July 2013
Georgia - Part 2b: Armenia Border-Ninotsminda-Tbilisi-Mtskheta-Kazbegi-Kutaisi-Zugdidi July 2013
Georgia - Part 3a: Zugdidi-Swaneti-Zugdidi-Abkhazia Border – July/August 2013
Abkhazia: Georgia-Sukhumi-Tsebelda-Novyy Aton-Lake Ritsa-Gagra-Pitsunda-Georgia August 2013
Georgia - Part 3b: Abkhazia Border-Poti-Ferry to Ilyichevsk/Ukraine – August 2013